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Advancing Primary Prevention in Human Services: Key Considerations for Policy Designers and Funding Partners

Publication Date
Lauren Akers, Jennifer Tippins, Susan Hauan, Miranda Lynch-Smith

This brief provides key considerations for policy designers and funding partners—such as federal staff, technical experts, and philanthropic partners—on incorporating primary prevention into human services delivery. Primary prevention can uproot the causes of adverse outcomes by reducing risk factors and promoting protective factors, thereby creating the safety and stability needed to avoid adverse experiences in the first place.

Key Points:

  • Integrate infrastructure across program areas and sectors to improve access and data-sharing and ultimately shift from programs that influence people to strategies and practices that influence change in response to societal, environmental, interpersonal, and individual factors.
  • Finance primary prevention services with new funding approaches that provide flexibility across sources, center community-based service providers, and adjust timelines to match the needs of primary prevention.
  • Leverage evidence of primary prevention effectiveness to build political will for policy and funding changes that support primary prevention system building.

This brief is one in a series of three short issue briefs that highlight key reflections from a Health and Human Services (HHS) virtual convening in August 2022. Each brief is centered on a specific audience based on the role they play in a human services system focused on primary prevention.

*This content is in the process of Section 508 review. If you need immediate assistance accessing this content, please submit a request to Susan Hauan, (202) 730-3905 Content will be updated pending the outcome of the Section 508 review.

Product Type
ASPE Issue Brief
Children | Parents | Youth | Racial & Ethnic Groups | Families with Children | Low-Income Populations | Underserved Populations